Using the Nest E Smart Thermostat With Solar

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Nest E smart thermostat

The Nest Thermostat allows homeowners and business to take their energy consumption habits into their own hands. Combining these two devices helps decrease pollution, saves customers money, and increases self-sufficiency. It makes sense to add smart thermostats to homes that already draw all or most of its power from the sun.

How Smart Thermostats Work

Smart thermostats use technology to help it detect when you have left the house and remembers your preferred temperature settings. Devices such as an app or web portal can also control it.

This technology allows the thermostat to adjust, so energy is less likely to be wasted. You can set it up, so the thermostat stops keeping the house at your preferred temperature while you are at work and starts readjusting before you get home.

Knowing the function of a smart thermostat and how to use it are two different things. To better understand how to use Nest E, let’s take a look at how to install and use it and its compatibility with other smart home products.

Nest E Thermostat Installation

Installing Nest E is the first step to enjoying the benefits of this smart thermostat. Homeowners can install their thermostat or have a certified Nest installer install it. 

Installations done by a certified installer have a 3-year warranty. Self or non-certified Nest installs have a 1-year warranty. 

Nest E Installation Video

Nest E Thermostat Compatibility

While the Nest E is compatible with 85 percent of 24V heating and cooling systems, it is not compatible with all of them. To check for compatibility with the Nest E, remove the face of the current thermostat and look for thick wires connected with wire nuts or if the thermostat has a 110V or 120V label.  

Either of these is an indication that the Nest E will not be compatible. However, to make sure, it is best to go through the nest compatibility checker.  

How to Use the Nest E Thermostat

The Nest E Thermostat has a verity of features that can make homes comfortable and energy-efficient. While some of these features are no longer available because of Nest’s integration into the Google store and away from IFTTT, there are still many useable settings. 

These Nest Thermostat features include: 

  • Setting a thermostat schedule
  • Automating home away mode
  • HVAC control
  • Tampering prevention
  • Voice control
  • Air filter reminders
  • Multi-user access
  • Humidity settings  

Smart Thermostat Savings

One of the reasons smart thermostats have become a hot commodity is the potential savings associated with them. According to Nest, 44 percent of an average home’s electricity bill comes from heating and cooling the house. 

While programable thermostats can save money, it isn’t nearly as convenient and seamless as a smart thermostat to change the temperature of the home. On average, a Nest thermostat can save between 10 and 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling a house, which means the average homeowner would save several hundred dollars a year.  

The four settings that make the most difference in electricity savings are the auto-away, auto-schedule, nest leaf, and energy history setting on the thermostat. These settings can be programmed both on the thermostat or through the Nest app.

Nest Thermostat App

The Nest thermostat app is a great way to increase homeowner control over their energy consumption. Let’s take a look at some of the settings this app has.

Auto-away Setting on the Nest App

While making adjustments to the thermostat is simple, when in a rush, it’s easy to forget to adjust the thermostat before leaving the house. The Nest smart thermostat detects the movement and location of phones with the app to determine when the thermostat should be in the home or away mode.

One of the first things the app asks users when first set up is whether the homeowner wants the home/away assist function turned on. If the homeowner changes their mind, they can change their home assist preferences in the settings of the app.

The Auto-schedule Function of the Nest App

The auto-schedule keeps track of recurring patterns and then makes adjustments, so no one needs to change the thermostat later. It either detects temperature adjustments over several days by detecting when people change the thermostat throughout the day, or homeowners can create a schedule through the app.

The App and the Nest Leaf

Decreasing the temperature in the home by one degree can cut the electricity bill by as much as five percent. Homeowners that adjust the thermostat, so it has a nest leaf on it, are playing a money-saving game.

The nest leaf icon encourages homeowners to decrease the heating and cooling needs of their homes. The leaf icon appears when a homeowner minimizes the need for the conditioner or heater by a few degrees. After a couple of days of being acclimated to the new temperature, it moves the energy leaf for the home to a few more degrees less.

Using Energy History in the App

The energy history feature on the Nest thermostats allows homeowners to see how frequently the heater or cooler had to turn on to keep the home at a set temperature. This feature shows homeowners why adjusting the temperature a few degrees saves money.

To see the home’s energy history, tap the nest thermostat in the app and then the history icon. In energy history, the orange bars indicate when the heater turned on, and the blue bars represent the cooler. On days when there is less energy consumed, the app shows a Nest leaf for the day.

What Makes the Nest E Different

There are several smart thermostats on the market today, which makes determining the differences between them difficult. While it would be tempting to choose the cheapest thermostat, that may not be the best option.

There are some brands of smart thermostats that offer the same package at different prices, but this isn’t often the case. Each thermostat has a different look and features.

Knowing what the difference between the Nest E and it’s competitors are makes it a bit easier to decide which thermostat to install.

Nest Thermostat E Vs. Nest Learning Thermostat

While the look of the original Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Thermostat E are different, the more economical Nest Thermostat E only misses out on a couple of significant features. Out of the features that differ between these devices, Farsight and the Nest E’s decreased heating and cooling system compatibility are the only non-aesthetic downgrades.

Taking a Look at the Nest Farsight Feature

Farsight allows the homeowner to view the time, temperature, and weather on the thermostat screen. While the Nest Learning Thermostat comes with this feature, the Nest E does not.

Nest E Decreased Compadability

While the Nest Learning Thermostat is compatible with 95 percent of 24 Volt heating and cooling systems, the Nest E is compatible with 85 percent. While this is not that large amount, it could mean the difference between being able to use a Nest E.

Nest Thermostat E Vs. Competitors

When the Nest Thermostat came on the market, there was nothing quite like it. Over the last couple of years, however, other smart thermostats have popped up. While the price point is similar across the board, each has different features best suited for different needs.  

Nest E Features to Reckon With

The sleek design of the Nest E outmatches all of the smart thermostats on the market. While this smart thermostat doesn’t have a touch screen, it can still be controlled by using the app, portal, or by turning the ring on the outside of the thermostat.

Nest E is still the best for homeowners that want the best thermostat scheduling feature. Home/Away Assist is another feature that the Nest E does better than competitors.

Unlike other thermostats, Nest E also has a safety temperature, so pipes don’t freeze. The Nest E energy history report is also the only history report available on a brand’s app, thermostat, and portal.

Combining Solar With the Nest E

While the Nest E is a great tool for conserving energy consumed by heating and cooling devices, on its own, this is where it stops. Combining this and other energy-saving devices and appliances with solar, however, is a game-changer.

Residential solar turns each home into an energy factory. It allows every homeowner to have control of their energy source.

Solar panels combined with the Nest E amounts to savings worth paying attention too. Both of these devices save money by reducing the need for fossil fuel.

Increased Solar Savings

Residential solar already saves homeowners thousands of dollars on electricity bills. The ROI of solar, however, increases when a smart thermostat and a solar array are both installed. When combined, the Nest E increases how much the solar array on the home can power. 

Maximize Efficiency

Homeowners that want to maximize their efficiency can with solar plus products like smart thermostats. They can also increase their efficiency by implementing positive post solar habits and solar storage devices like battery backup


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